You never think it’s going to happen to you. Truly. The call came in from my Women’s Aid Court Worker and you could have knocked me down with a feather. ‘There were some requests made in court.’ She speaks in barely audible tones. ‘He asked to be referred to as Matilda.’ ‘Matilda?’ I shriek. ‘What the fuck does that mean? What did the judge say?’ She paused before replying. ‘He asked what pronouns he should use…’
I know it sounds like a joke but there is no punch line. There were punches. In our relationship. And smacks. And blows. And all manner and type of put downs. We had the classic – boy meets girl, boy beats girl, boy takes all girl’s self esteem, girl takes it ’till she’s up the duff, then she makes a break for it, only there ain’t no-way to outrun a boy when you are carrying the fruits of his loins tale – with a twist.
The twist is he is now she. According to him. But, what more is there?
In the craziest way, I blame myself. I have been as compliant as the next in the building of our gender less world. Not complicit, please believe me, I have never been complicit, but I have not stood up and added my voice to those brave voices of dissent. I have not come out as openly gender critical. Hell, I’m still not.
Only now, the truth is, I’m too afraid to. And it’s not even a professional fear. I’m an artist, see? And no-where is the gender debate less mention-able than the alleged free thinking space that artists occupy. Only, it’s not that. I’m afraid of him. See? And the whole justice system which has been traditionally since it’s inception, everywhere, anti-woman. To qualify, that’s woman with a vagina. I have no idea how it treats other kinds of woman. As in, men in dresses, with a metaphysical hard-on for pro-nouns.
If I post in my own name, will he down-load my posts? Will he show them to the judge as proof of my trans-phobia? Will that alleged trans-phobia negate the original charges, or, at the very least, make the judge view me less kindly ? It shouldn’t, if you consider he was a man when the charges were made, so even if I’m as trans-phobic as a joint convention between T.E.R.F.S. United and Christians for Creationism, it shouldn’t have a material bearing on the outcome of the case. It shouldn’t matter anyway, coz I’m the victim and he’s the perpetrator. Alas, in my own extensive experience of the justice system, what shouldn’t happen, in a case where a woman is victim, so often does.
Only that’s not even what I’m scared of. I’ve been around the patriarchal legal system long enough to know it will let me down. It’s him. See? I’m scared of speaking my truth, in my own name, in my own life, and feeding further into his crazy mind. ‘Coz whilst everyone is busy stabbing gender to death, the elephant in the room – biological fact- is roaming freely.
When last seen he had a flowery dress, some choral lip-stick and the crazed look in his eyes of a mad-man hell bent on revenge…